Monday, May 01, 2006

Longest Weekend on Record

Nanny passed away yesterday at 4 am. I was there.

I got to the hospital about 10 Saturday morning and sat with her almost the whole time until after 10:30 Saturday night. People came and went but I stayed except to go to the bathroom and go out to the waiting room and eat. She had a couple of crises but seemed stable when I left.

I went to bad after 11:30 and at about 12:40 the phone rang. My aunt wanted me back at the hospital - it might not be long. I was dressed and at the hospital in under 15 minutes - I live about 5 minutes away. Two cousins came in shortly after and later my uncle and his wife.

Her breathing had slowed way down, but she didn't seem to be struggling to breathe quite as much. Her heart rhythm was slowing and no longer normal rhythm.

My aunt asked if there was a chaplain and they paged one. The nicest woman came about 3 and said the 23rd Psalm in the form of a prayer and then led us in Amazing Grace. We were surrounding my grandmother's bed while holding hands. It was a truly beautiful moment.

About 3:45 all of the monitors started having trouble measuring and the nurse started checking for a pulse and couldn't find one. More than one nurse listened for a heartbeat and couldn't hear it. At 3:50, they pronounced her dead and turned off the BIPAP breathing machine. Thing was she continued to breathe - it was so faint as to be hardly noticeable. With all the machines off, they could hear a very faint heartbeat. But it lasted only a few more minutes.

We said our good-byes and finally convinced my aunt to leave so that the nurses could do their job. However, we sat out in the waiting room and talked for a while - everyone needed a few minutes to decompress - I got home at almost 6 and tried to sleep, but really couldn't

So at 8, I got up and called the funeral home for my aunt to set up the appointment with the funeral director. We were at the funeral home for over 3 hours yesterday and by then tempers were starting to flare - everyone was tired and spent. And there were problems with the contract that couldn't be resolved until this morning - my grandmother had thought ahead and pre-planned her funeral.

Anyway, I went to bed at 9:00 last night and slept straight through until the alarm went off at 5 this morning. I had to come to work this morning for a while since my Admin Asst is on vacation today - the work still has to go out. But the "fun" starts again in a couple of hours.

I will be putting together a couple of montages/collages for the funeral. My cousin and I will get together this afternoon and pool our pictures along with my grandmother's pictures - so I will be doing some scrapping - just on a bigger scale - I'm thinking 12x18.

3 comments:

Bethy said...

Much love to you and your family.
I'm very sorry for your loss.
My thoughts are with you.

Meg said...

Oh Maggie, I'm so sorry. (((hugs)))

glynis said...

Hugs and prayers to you, Maggie.